University of Montana (B.A. 1989 (High Honors))
University of California, Hastings College of the Law (J.D. 2009, Law Review)
James joined Campbell and Brannon in 2017 and manages the firm’s litigation department. He is an experienced advocate with a decade of experience in commercial dispute resolution and extensive experience in real estate. Representative matters in the past few years have included boundary disputes, commercial collections, construction defects, equitable subrogation, forgery and fraud in the sale of real estate, interpleaders, landlord-tenant disputes, and quiet title actions.
James’ approach to litigation is dedicated to serving the needs and interests of the client, and placing those interests at the forefront of the dispute resolution process. He believes it is the advocate’s duty to encourage settlement, rather than exacerbate the dispute and prolong the legal process. He prefers to avoid legal and procedural gaming, which invariably result in a significant expenditure of clients’ resources, while seldom producing any significant strategic advantage. He prefers instead to focus on the facts and evidence, preparing the case for either an early settlement or a high probability of future success. Nevertheless, when an amicable settlement is not forthcoming, James is a zealous advocate in service of obtaining the best possible judicial resolution.
In 2018 James was involved in three cases that proceeded to trial. Two of these cases were jury trials, the third was a bench trial. All three cases had favorable outcomes. For example, in the first jury trial of that year, James represented a third-party defendant in a lawsuit to invalidate an allegedly forged deed. James delivered the closing argument on behalf of his client. The jury returned a favorable result, finding that the deed was in fact genuine. Members of the courtroom audience later described James’ presentation as the turning point in the case. Likewise, at the second jury trial, James represented a married couple defending against a claim of adverse possession to a portion of their property. At the close of evidence, James presented an oral argument and motion for directed verdict to the judge. The judge granted directed verdict in the couple’s favor, bringing an end to the trial and preserving the property boundaries of record. In the third case, a vigorously contested bench trial, James obtained a writ of possession and an $850,000 judgment for unpaid rent on a commercial lease.
Prior to his tenure at Campbell and Brannon, up until 2014, James worked at a boutique law practice in Buckhead focusing on civil litigation for the transportation sector. In that capacity, James handled a variety of litigation matters, either as lead or secondary counsel, including employment claims (restrictive covenant or wage and hours), a breach of contract claim valued at $1.25 million (for Defendant), an ongoing post-judgment collection effort for $1.2 million (for Plaintiff), numerous actions on commercial accounts (for Plaintiffs), numerous garnishments (for Plaintiffs), an action for breach of contract and fraud (for Plaintiff), and actions for piercing the corporate veil (in one instance for Plaintiff, in another for Defendant), among others. In addition, James managed a portfolio of more than thirty (30) commercial collection matters, in which he successfully pursued most cases through judgment, then proceeded with garnishments, collecting more than 75% of delinquent funds.
From 2014 to 2017, James worked at an employment litigation firm, where he prosecuted a broad spectrum of employment cases, including claims relating to unpaid minimum wages, unpaid overtime, sexual harassment, FMLA leave, and discrimination (race, age, gender, and disability). He also prosecuted two multi-million dollar claims on behalf of former CEOs of technology businesses. While these matters were under his supervision, he handled all aspects of pretrial litigation, including pleadings, discovery, settlement negotiations, and motion practice.
James’ litigation practice is primarily specialized in Georgia and Eleventh Circuit law. However, he has also worked with local counsel in states throughout the country, and has at various times been admitted pro hac vice in federal courts outside Georgia.
James is extremely organized and disciplined in the management of his clients’ cases. Early in his career, while not satisfied with the options in practice management software available on the market, James developed his own cloud-based practice management application for tracking matters, tasks, deadlines, and attorney time entries. This application was integral to his success in the first few years of practice, and inspired one of his colleagues to leave the practice of law and start up a software business. (James did not follow suit, because he felt his true calling remained in advocacy.)
James was born in Florida, but he grew up and attended college in Montana, where he majored in Philosophy. He spent almost a decade in California, where he obtained his law degree. In 2008 James returned to the South to settle among the fertile fields and green forest of Georgia. He enjoys all four seasons here, including the spectacular rain storms. He actually likes the humidity.